Mrs Koh was visiting Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam recently when she spotted a colourful minivet and sent in this account:
“Thought you might like to see my pictures of a long-tailed minivet (Pericrocotus ethologus) (found the name off the internet) which I spotted whilst on a work trip to Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam. I was in the middle of the city centre, in a building, and spotted a flash of bright red fly across a tree. I quickly took out my camera, and to my delight, this gorgeous bird flew back into view, with a fat caterpillar in its beak, and started flinging it against a branch, before it ate it. It perched there for a minute or two, digesting its meal and allowing me to take a few shots. I’ve never seen this bird in Singapore, can they be found here?
The images were sent to Dato’ Dr Amar-Singh HSS for confirmation and this is his reply:
“Using Robson, C. (2002) A Field Guide to Birds of South East Asia. New Holland Publishers (UK) Ltd. as a base and multiple other resources to counter check:
1. Short-Billed Minivet (Pericrocotus speciosus) found in north Vietnam only, so unlikely at Ho Chi Min City.
2. Long-tailed Minivet – found in your location, but tail not as long as expected. Also the tail is less red in the Long-tailed.
3. Scarlet Minivet (P. speciosuss) – found in your location, the pictures shows a more ‘vivid flame-red plumage’ (Robson) supporting this ID. Bill larger and more robust. Diagnostic red markings near tip of tertials and inner secondaries (hard to see…).”
Mrs Koh & Dato’ Dr Amar-Singh HSS
Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia